By Thomas A. Lewis

It's amazing, but true -- we don't have to pollute our rivers any more. Broadway, Timberville, and two big chicken plants are about to stop polluting the Shenandoah, and so could we.
There are two kinds of sewage plant: the kind that works and the kind that doesn't. Almost every town and city is using the kind that doesn't -- that dumps in our streams and rivers tons of nutrients, the ingredients of commercial fertilizer, that stimulate algae growth and degrade water quality.
The town of Broadway has one of these plants, as does nearby Timberville; another serves the big poultry processing plant owned by Rocco Farm Foods and a similar one owned by WLR Foods. Together, those four plants have been dumping more than 200,000 pounds of nitrogen and phosphorous a year into the north fork of the Shenandoah River.
They're going to close all four of those plants down, they announced last month, and replace it with one that generates no odor, no sludge, and no pollution. Using extended treatment times and natural biological processes to clean the water, this Sheaffer Circular System produces reclaimed irrigation water and nutrients for growing plants.
It's another one of our big environmental problems that has been solved -- but not enough of us know about it.
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Clean Virginia Waterways
Department of Natural Sciences
Longwood University
Farmville, VA 23909

Phone: 434-395-2602
Fax: 434-395-2652
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